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Hot money deals, 22 November 2012

Which? experts round up the best money deals
Gold pig

This week, we track down the best savings accounts and cash Isas, as well as the leading credit card and loan deals. We also show you how to find unclaimed assets 

Best Rate savings accounts

  • Instant access savings: Intelligent Finance (IF) tops the instant-access savings table at 2.49%. Tesco Bank follows closely behind at 2.40% but includes a variable rate bonus, so you will need to switch to a more competitive account once the bonus period has ended.
  • One-year fixed-rate savings: Krbs and United Bank UK offer the top-paying one-year fixed-rate savings rate at 2.75% from initial balances of £1,000 and £2,000 respectively.
  • Three-year fixed-rate savings: Close Brothers Savings, Shawbrook Bank, Vanquis Bank and United Trust Bank offer the best three-year fixed-rate savings deals all paying 3.00%.
  • Five-year fixed-rate savings: United Trust Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate savings account table, paying 3.35%. This account can be operated at a branch or by post.

Best Rate cash Isas

  • Instant access cash Isa: M&S Bank leads our table for instant-access cash Isa deals, paying 3.00% and allows transfers-in. The Isa from Cheshire BS also pays 3.00% but transfers-in from other providers are not permitted.
  • One-year fixed-rate cash Isa: Krbs offers the top one-year fixed-rate cash Isa account at 3.00%. This branch or postal account requires a minimum initial deposit of £1,000.
  • Three-year fixed-rate cash Isa: M&S Bank and United Trust Bank currently top our three-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, with Isas paying 3.00%.
  • Five-year fixed-rate cash Isa: United Trust Bank currently leads our five-year fixed-rate cash Isa table, paying 3.35% from initial balances of £5,000.

Best credit cards for cashback

There are currently many good cashback credit card deals on the market from the likes of American Express, Capital One, Barclaycard and Santander:

Cashback cards with no annual fee:

  • The American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card –  A great new card from AMEX, offering 5% for the first three months (max £100). You then earn 0.5% on an annual spend of up to £3,500, 1% on amounts between £3,501 and £7,500 and 1.25% on amounts above £7,501. The card comes with a relatively high APR of 19.9%.
  • The Aspire World MasterCard from Which? Recommended Credit Card Provider Capital One offers 5% cashback for the first three months (max £100). You then earn 0.5% on an annual spend of up to £5,999, 1% on amounts between £6,000 and £9,999 and 1.25% on amounts above £10,000. The card comes with a relatively high APR of 19.9%, but charges no annual fee.

Cashback cards that do charge an annual fee

  • The Platinum Cashback Card from Which? Recommended Credit Card Provider American Express pays 5% cashback for the first three months (max £125), followed by a standard cashback rate of 1.25% on everything you spend. The card comes with an annual fee of £25 a year, so is only suitable for big-spenders. If you spend in excess of £10,001 within a year, you’re eligible for 2.5% cashback during the anniversary month the following year. The card comes with a 14% purchase APR.
  • The Barclaycard Cashback Visa, offers a 6% cashback rate on your top five biggest purchases during the first three months (max £120) and 0.5% on all other spend, you must make at least 15 transactions each month to qualify for the higher cashback rate. After the first three months you earn 2% on your top five biggest transactions and 0.5% on all other spend and again you need to make at least 15 transactions to qualify for the higher level of cashback. You can only earn cashback on £75,000 spend each year and the card comes with a 19.9% purchase APR with £24 annual fee.  
  • Which? Recommended Credit Card Provider Capital One also offers the Aspire Elite MasterCard for customers who have an income of more than £50,000 pa and own a home. This card offers the highest introductory rate on the market of 5% cashback for the first three months capped at £200. You then earn 1% on annual spend up to £15,000, 2% on amounts between £15,000 and £50,000 and then 1.35% for annual spend of £50,000 and above. The card charges an annual fee of £120 with a purchase APR of 17.7%. The card also comes with some additional benefits that include concierge service, extended warranty and best price protection.  
  • The Santander 123 Cashback MasterCard offers 1% cashback on shopping at selected supermarkets, 2% cashback at selected department stores and 3% cashback at selected major petrol stations. Santander charges an annual £24 fee on the card, so it’s only suitable if you use it a lot.
  • The new Cashback MasterCard from Sainsbury’s Finance offers 5% on all Sainsbury’s shopping for the first three months capped at £50 a month. On top of this the card also offers a standard cashback rate of £5 each month if you spend at least £250 on Sainsbury’s shopping and £250 elsewhere. The card comes with a 17.9% typical APR and no annual fee.

The cheapest unsecured personal loans

In our best rate personal loan tables we show the lowest rates available for loans that aren’t exclusive to specific account holders or existing customers of banks or other institutions. 

  • For those borrowing £5,000 over three years: Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank offer the leading rate of 7.00% APR for a £5,000 loan.
  • For those borrowing £10,000 over five years: Derbyshire Building Society offers a market leading rate of 5.40% APR for a £10,000 loan.

And finally… this week’s money tip

Are there any financial products you’ve owned in the past and lost track of over the years? Our guide how to find unclaimed assets could help you track them down. 

We cover how to find lost pensions, stocks and shares, premium bonds, bank and building society accounts as well as advice on tracking down unclaimed money. 

More on this…

  • Investment Bonds – Find out more about investment bonds and whether you should invest in them
  • Premium Bonds – learn more about Premium bonds and how they compare to savings accounts
  • Which? Money Helpline – we can help you with your money queries
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